Random question (but revealing, I hope): What is one talent you wish you had, but you're pretty sure is out of reach?

Obviously, most of us do pursue more than one creative endeavour: writers who paint, photographers who dance, musicians who sculpt, etc. But is there a talent you really wish you possessed that you just ... don't? For example, I love music of all kinds, and I wish I could sing -- I mean *really* sing -- but I can't stay on key to save my life. (I sing in the car, but always with the windows rolled up, to save passersby the pain.) Anyone else?


  • @Brinda Wachs and @Morphe Digital Design You poor Anglo dears trying to learn German. German is like English, but backwards. You don't really have to think about grammar when speaking English. Even if you mess it up some, nobody cares. German? Other way around. We had five years of German in school, and I can read a newspaper and understand a movie, but speak? Fuggedaboutit, as they say in NY.
  • @Benedict Cosgrove Yep, I am very visual (from a tribe of architects), so any math that I can visualize, geometry, algebra and calculus, is fine with me.
  • @Morphe Digital Design Thats how I felt *trying* to study German for 4 years while living in Zurich- it simply wouldn’t sink in! A question of age? Trans-generational Trauma?
  • @Christiane Lange I agree, Christiane. There's no doubt that some brains are built for math, and with proper guidance and discipline can achieve astonishing things. But even those of us who find math difficult can develop some skills to a remarkable degree with the right sort of teaching. I also think some people are more drawn to certain types or areas of mathematics more readily than other types -- geometry vs. algebra or trig, for example. Maybe the same way some are drawn to biology over chemistry, or poetry over, say, the visual arts.
  • @Morphe Digital Design I can definitely relate. But for me, once I got past the unrealistic (translation: utterly delusional) expectation that I was going to be the next Prince, Jimmy Page, or Eddie Van Halen on guitar, I found that knowing just a few simple chords and randomly strumming them for a while can be fun, and meditative. I'll probably have to unlearn some self-taught stuff if I want to take even basic beginner lessons -- my strumming technique is all over the map, for example -- but it will be worth it. My daughter plays guitar, and I want to be able to play a few songs with her one day.
  • @Katerina Landa I think some people have a proper talent for math. These are the people who become renowned mathematicians or the like. I just don't think actual talent is necessary to develop good math skills, as long as you are taught well.
  • @Christiane Lange I was actually pondering that as I was writing my answer. Maybe maths is not a talent at all. I think you are absolutely right that unlike dance or singing it is something that can be developed when thought right. I wasn't lucky in that regard.
  • I also wish I could sing and was thinking of finding a choir or taking voice lessons since I moved from Zurich back to Geneva/France. But everybody can dance, can’t they? :)
  • @Katerina Landa I had the most fabulous math teacher from grade 1 through 9, same guy for 9 years. We all ended up with really good math skills, even the perennial D-student in the class. The class of ~ 25 kids ended up producing a handful of scientists and engineers, and even the D-student landed in a good IT career, thanks to the math skills.
    Only to say that math is often really badly taught, by people who themselves understand it poorly or dislike it. Which I find a pity, because even without talent, you can get proficient in math with the right teaching.
  • For me dance is the one that got away. It must be amazing to express yourself through movement. I’m lucky to have multiple talents, but dancing isn’t one of them. I still do it anyway, of course, just won’t be broadcasting it anytime soon!
  • I wish I was naturally graceful. I’ve danced most of my life and done things like acrobatics, ice skating etc. but no matter how hard I practice I can never make it look effortlessly graceful. Sigh.

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